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Frontierland Secrets & Facts

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Secrets and Facts

  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad was designed by Disney Imagineer Tony Baxter.
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is located in the area previously occupied by an attraction called Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland.
  • In the pond area across the walkway from the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad exit, you can still see what remains of Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland. Every few seconds, "phantom fish" will jump up from the water. This is left over from when trains would pass by a scene with Audio-Animatronic bears swiping at fish in the water. The effect was just never removed when the ride was taken out.

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Mark Twain Riverboat Secrets and Facts

  • The Mark Twain riverboat actually runs on a track hidden below the water of the Rivers of America!

Sailing Ship Columbia Secrets and Facts

  • Both the "Mark Twain" and the sailing ship "Columbia" ride along a track. The canoes and the rafts to Tom Sawyer's Island are controlled by guests and pilots, respectively. (Robyn Mackay)

Tom Sawyer Island Secrets and Facts

  • Tom Sawyer Island underwent a major renovation in order to install the sound system, and control center for Fantasmic!
  • The old Harper's Mill was replaced with a new one that would serve as the technological nerve center of the nighttime spectacular, and a new stage area was constructed.

Frontierland Shootin' Exposition Secrets and Facts

  • Rumor has it that for the first eight months of the parks existence the
    shooting gallery used .22 caliber ammunition. This was changed due to
    obvious safety concerns. (Robyn Mackay)
  • The Frontierland Shootin' Exposition used to use metal pellets for the shooting guns; however, the metal pellets would chip the paint off the sets and targets, so the shooting arcade was repainted every night.
  • Now, the shooting arcade uses lasers to determine the accuracy of the shooters.

Fantasmic! Secrets and Facts

  • Fantasmic! debuted in 1992.
  • Fantasmic! features 50 performers and 50 backstage crew members.
  • Kaa the snake from the Jungle Book scene is 100 feet long.
  • The fire-breathing dragon in the thrilling climax of Fantasmic! is 45 feet tall.
  • The mist screens from Fantasmic! are 30 feet tall and 50 feet wide.
  • Three "show barges" are used in Fantasmic! and appear in the Jungle Book segment decorated in a jungle theme and then in a fantasy theme with electrical lights for the princess medley.
  • The Sailing Ship Columbia appears in Fantasmic! as Captain Hook's pirate ship in the Peter Pan segment of Fantasmic!
  • The Mark Twain riverboat appears in the finale of Fantasmic! full of Disney characters as Mickey Mouse makes his appearance portraying Steamboat Willie.
  • The fire-breathing dragon in Fantasmic! is nicknamed Bucky.
  • The performers in the neon monkey suits are wearing pirate costumes under the monkey costumes, and they perform later in the show as pirates during the Peter Pan segment aboard the Sailing Ship Columbia (Jonny Woodruff).
  • If you stand in a small area close to the right side of the line entrance to the Mark Twain riverboat during the Fantasmic! show, you see performers setting up the show behind Tom Sawyer's Island. It is a small darkened area in front of Big Thunder Mountain and you can get a view of the performers before they appear in the show. During the show it gets so crowded that this is a good spot to stand since not that many people know about it and you also get to see the show from a decent side view. You can see performers getting onto the Sailing Ship Columbia before the Peter Pan segment and the Disney characters get onto the Mark Twain before the Fantasmic! finale. (WestSideStyle)

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The Disneyland Report - Disney News and Secrets!